Our lives have now moved online even more than before, thanks to the pandemic-induced WFH and other digital chores we now take for granted. Unfortunately, if you’re a woman, you also take for granted the murky side of the digital world in the form of online harassment, cyberbullying and other forms of digital abuse.
Stand For Safety Initiative –
The women-first social networking app Bumble has always empowered women on its platform and ‘Stand for Safety’, its latest initiative takes the idea forward by empowering them to be able to identify, prevent and fight digital abuse through its newly-released Safety Guide. Created in partnership with Safecity, Red Dot Foundation’s flagship public safety platform, the guide demonstrates Bumble’s commitment to a zero-tolerance policy for hate, aggression or bullying of any kind.
‘Stand for Safety’ is a much-needed initiative for women in India and Bumble’s mission to create a safer, kinder and more respectful internet is laudable in the current scenario. In fact, a recent nationwide survey by Bumble found 83% of women surveyed in India experience online harassment of some kind, and 1 in 3 women experience it weekly. A further 70% of women believe that cyberbullying increased since lockdown was announced in 2020.
Clearly, having a zero-tolerance approach towards hate, aggression and bullying is the only way we can hope to bring about a positive change and work towards making the internet safer for women. As Priti Joshi, VP of Global Strategy & Operations at Bumble said, “Through Bumble’s Stands for Safety initiative, we hope to equip and empower women in India with crucial information to understand and recognise, prevent and fight digital abuse. We are happy to collaborate with Safecity who has been doing incredible work on creating safer spaces for women worldwide. We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to creating safer, healthy relationships on our platform and in our communities.”
The Guide’s Contents –
At a staggering 83%, online harassment is so widespread for women that it’s akin to a pandemic in itself. Worryingly, most women might not be even aware of the clandestine ways in which they are bullied. On the internet, not everything is as clear as black and white after all.
The guide, co-created with Safecity, equips women to report any incident of harassment anonymously on their platform from where further action can be initiated. Moreover, the guide also details new-age forms of harassment and provides tactical next steps to take action against abusive forms of behavior online in detail.
Be it something as dismaying and distraught-causing as Outing or leaking personal videos, or understanding what terms like Flaming, Concern Trolling, Doxxing, Cyber Stalking and Online Impersonation constitute, the guide gives voice to these terms so you know exactly what type of harassment you’re facing and what kind of legal recourse and other actions you can take.
Bumble’s safety features–
Bumble already has a robust block and report feature within its app that makes it easy to report anyone who makes users uncomfortable on the app, or anyone who’s behaviour goes against its established Community Guidelines.
Bumble also has a photo verification feature to help prevent catfishing within the app. Private Detector is another Bumble feature that leverages AI to capture, blur and alert users that they’ve been sent an unsolicited nude image making it the user’s choice to either delete, view or report the image.
Bumble recently updated its terms and conditions to explicitly ban any unsolicited and derogatory comments made about someone’s appearance, body shape, size or health, and became one of the first social networking apps to ban body shaming. As a geographic-specific feature for Bumble community in India, a woman can choose to use only the first initial of her name to create her Bumble Date profile and can share her full name with connections when she feels ready and comfortable.
The Stand for Safety initiative is yet another step the company has taken to ensure women feel empowered to take action against online bullying of any kind.
Check out the Stand for Safety guide here.
This is Partnered.